“May God Protect You” – Kamichama Karin (manga) – 7/10 Pumpkin Pies


The feeling remains that God is on the journey, too. ~Teresa of Avila

Mangaka: Koge-Donbo

Genre: Action/Comedy/Romance/Supernatural/Mahou Shoujo/Shoujo

Review Status: Complete (7 Volumes/7 Volumes)

Licensed: No. It was formerly licensed by Tokyopop.

Art: This has a very distinct chibi-like style for everyone. They’re all amazingly adorable. It’s also great that all the characters are very distinct. It’s very shoujo with almost no backgrounds and lots of toning in the backgrounds.

Summary: Karin is an average girl… at best. She’s not good at sports and gets terrible grades. On top of all that, her parents are dead and her beloved cat Shi-chan just died, too. She is miserable… but everything is about to change. Little does Karin know that her mother’s ring has the power to make her a goddess! (back cover of 1st volume)

Review:
Meet Karin, your typical shoujo protagonist. She’s clumsy, she’s rather dumb, and she discovers that she has powers that she never dreamed of. Then things get good. The group of friends she falls in with- and ends up living with and fighting against- are unique in their humor and personalities, from the somewhat sexist, afraid-of-bugs buy Kazune, to the sweet bug-loving Himeka, and the not-really-evil Kirika. The way they interact and the hijinks they get into feel fresh and interesting, so different from the humor you usually find in these series.

Of course, life is not all roses and one-liners. Karin and her friends are fighting against a group that wants nothing more than to destroy them and get at Himeka. Their powers are that of the Greek Gods, borrowed from the Divine so that they can protect those that they love. The fights are simple and don’t last long, though the effects linger into their normal lives. Things ramp up around volume 5, where the stakes are raised and secrets are revealed.

This would have been a fine series if it had followed their daily lives and the occasional fights, because those moments are always hilarious. There are an incredible number of lines that set me off laughing out loud, and situations that were just as funny. They made the series shine. It was when everything tried to tie up that it started to fall apart into some poorly-done clichés and other things that didn’t seem to fit. Characters were forgotten about, plot threads were left dangling, and the status quo was maintained for characters and romances.

The first half of the series was definitely worth reading. It’s one of the best Mahou Shoujo series I’ve read and seen in that regard, and I could not be more thrilled with it. The second half… not so much. Definitely read it if you’re a completist, otherwise just drop it.

Overall, this is a hilarious, adorable series that deserved a better ending than it got.

Recommended: 8+. There’s no language, the humor is spot-on and clean, there’s no fanservice (though at one point, Karin accidentally ends up in the guy’s bath- towels are on!), and there is some suggestive humor in one of the extra stories. Comedic violence, nothing you wouldn’t see in a Looney Tunes cartoon or in a Disney movie.

Other titles you might enjoy:
Sailor Moon (anime and manga)
Pita-Ten (anime and manga)
Card Captor Sakura (anime)
Shugo Chara (anime and manga)

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